Reds @ Dodgers May 12, 2018: Don’t lose a series to the Reds

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers have been outright humiliated in the first two games of the series against the Reds. Last night, they were shut down by Matt Harvey for four innings, and the only offense they could muster was through Max Muncy. In the first two games against the team with the worst record in the National League, the Dodgers have combined to go 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and have left 13 men on base. Not great. Going into the series, a split would have seemed like a huge failure, but now it would be almost miraculous.

Reds
Dodgers
6:10 PM
Los Angeles
RF
Winker
2B
Utley
SS
Peraza
LF
Pederson
1B
Votto
RF
Kemp
2B
Gennett
1B
Bellinger
3B
Suarez
SS
Taylor
CF
Schebler
3B
Muncy
C
Barnhart CF Hernandez
LF
Duvall
C
Barnes
P
Bailey (R)
P
Stripling (R)

Ross Stripling starts for the third time this season to go along with 11 appearances out of the bullpen. Stripling has been one of the best pitchers for the Dodgers this season, and I’m not sure if that says more about Stripling or the Dodgers. He’s thrown exactly four innings in each of his two starts. In his first, he allowed four runs and eight hits in Arizona. In his last outing, he shut the Padres out for four innings, but shockingly the Dodgers didn’t score and Tony Cingrani gave up two runs in the fifth to lose.

Chase Utley leads off again for the Dodgers like he did last night. Chris Taylor moves up from sixth to fifth in the lineup after being taken out of the leadoff spot. Austin Barnes gets the start behind the plate, giving Yasmani Grandal his first off day of the week. Grandal is known for being a streaky player and has come back to earth after his hot start, with only three hits in 36 plate appearances in May.

Homer Bailey and his weird leg kick start for the Reds tonight. He’s struggled to stay healthy of late, with only 34 starts in the last four seasons. He’s also struggled to pitch effectively this season, with a 5.61 ERA in eight starts. That ERA is a bit fortunate, as it’s backed up by a 6.27 FIP in 43 1/3 innings. He’s lived up to his name with a National League leading 11 home runs allowed. Eight of those home runs have come in his five starts at Great American Ballpark. He’s pitched much better on the road, with a 4.41 ERA and 13 strikeouts to five walks in 16 1/3 innings. That’s still not all that great, but it should be enough for five shutout innings against the Dodgers. Bailey has really struggled lately, with 11 earned runs in his last two starts. He hasn’t allowed fewer than three runs in a game in more than a month.

Billy Hamilton isn’t starting tonight, which means the Reds shift back to the standard pitcher-batting-ninth lineup. Old friend Scott Schebler starts in center for only the sixth time this season.

Despite their struggles, surely the Dodgers can beat up on bad pitching.

At least there’s only 124 games left in this stupid regular season.

——

The Dodgers made another move in the bullpen.

Brock Stewart has been optioned once again. This time, amphibious pitcher Pat Venditte will be replacing him. Venditte is best known for his ability to switch-pitch, but he turned heads with a strong Spring. He carried that over to a solid start at Triple A-OKC, with a 1.53 ERA in 17 2/3 innings. Venditte has only allowed 10 hits and hasn’t allowed a home run yet this year, and holds a 19-6 K-BB rate. My first article at this website was about Venditte’s potential as a left-handed specialist, so it’ll be interesting to see how he’s used this time around.

——

In rehab news:

Both Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe will play tonight for Rancho. Forsythe began his rehab last night, and Turner’s getting his first game action since Spring Training tonight. Allan wrote about Turner’s upcoming return, which should come next week.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I'm a writer that has blogged at a whole bunch of places about a whole bunch of sports. I was most recently writing for Chavez Ravine Fiends, but was also the former editor at Dodgers Way. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Marketing. At Long Beach, I covered the Dirtbags in the 2014 season as an assistant sports editor at the Daily 49er.